CREDIBILITY OF CELEBRITY


By
K.V. Kannan
Faculty–Marketing Area
Institute for Technology and Management
10, Venkatakrishna Road, Mandaveli, Chennai–600 028
Phone : (O) 044-24937457, (R) 0424-2212458, (M) 94435 46434
E-mail :
kvkannan4u@yahoo.com
 


Introduction

Celebrities are famous personalities. They can be film stars, sport stars or TV personalities. The marketers for promoting their brands have used celebrities. A firm that decides to employ celebrity to promote its product or service has the choice of using the celebrity to give a testimonial, to give an endorsement, as an actor in a commercial, or as a company spokes person. The important reason why celebrity has been used is that the celebrity appeal adds fame, talent, credibility, or charisma to the product being advertised.

Celebrity Appeals in India

The history for celebrity appeal dates back to fifties, when Lux used Hindi film stars. In 1980's Pataudi a famous cricket star has been used in advertisements. Similarly various cricket stars like Kapildev for Palmolive and Boost, Kris Srikkanth for Maltova and TVS Srichakra, Sunil Gavaskar for Dinesh Suitings has been used. Now we have the famous film stars like Amitabh, Abisekh, Sharukh, Aishwaryarai endorsing various products. Similarly now we have cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Kaif, Virender Sehwag, and Irfan Pathan endorsing various products. They are endorsing various products that include softdrinks, batteries, paints, mobile phones, tyres, consumer durables and various other products. As the celebrity appeal has more credibility, the celebrities having credibility worldwide have been used by advertisers now-a-days. For example, Steve Waugh, the former Australian cricket captain endorsing AMP Sanmar Life Assurance products in India.

Why celebrity appeals?

The major reason for using celebrity appeal by most of the companies is to gain immediate attention for the product being advertised. For example, attention for Airtel ad has been made possible because of Sharukh as the ad creates curiosity. India is a place known for its internal diversity where the dialect differs for every 200 kms. But one thing where the countrymen are unanimous is towards celebrities as we can see the popularity for Sachin or Dravid or Big – B or Sharukh. Again, approval of a brand by a star (Boost is the secret of my/our energy) by Kapil or Sachin ensures sense of trust for the brand to the target audience.

Major drawbacks of celebrity appeals

Celebrity appeals are costlier than other type of appeals. Since celebrities enjoy very good image they have been used by marketers for various brands even then the celebrity seem to be disconnected with the brand. The target audience also gets confused as the celebrity endorse in more number of ads (for example, Amitabh and Sachin acted in more than dozen ads and Sharukh in more than half a dozen ads).

Conclusion

The celebrity appeals gain immediate attention and adds attraction to the advertisement. So a consumer can be easily attracted to the celebrity ad. But the marketers also have to prove on quality of the brand being advertised so that they can enjoy long-term benefits.
 


K.V. Kannan
Faculty–Marketing Area
Institute for Technology and Management
10, Venkatakrishna Road, Mandaveli, Chennai–600 028
Phone : (O) 044-24937457, (R) 0424-2212458, (M) 94435 46434
E-mail :
kvkannan4u@yahoo.com
 

Source : E-mail September 20, 2004

 

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